20 recommendations from 2021 OBRC

Here are 20 recommendations from 2021 OBRC.

  1. The OBRC recommends the Board request the Superintendent to obtain and provide the Board with a health benefit participation comparison among peer counties to clarify the findings in SB and Company’s Agreed-Upon Procedures Report. (Recommendation approved 12 to 5 with 2 abstentions) 

2. The OBRC recommends that HCPSS modernize its technology curriculum to expand the introduction to coding as a second language and computer science as a core discipline from K-12. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

3. The OBRC recommends the Board fully fund the line item on page 290 of the Superintendent’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget of $174,000 for contracted services that “Increases funding to provide reading intervention and dyslexia tutoring services provided by Orton Gillingham.” (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

4. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to present a cost-benefit analysis of the expected expenditures and/or savings incurred or expected through advancing expertise, training and certification of critical education staff and shifting to in-house staff development in science based and data driven reading intervention programs (one example is Orton Gillingham) to provide student tutoring versus contracting with outside services. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

5. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to more clearly define the HCPSS implementation process and initiatives that allow HCPSS to sustain and fully comply with the Ready to Read Act of 2019 and the key performance indicators on page 289 of the Superintendent’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget and to decrease the achievement gap of students that are identified as failing the benchmark of proficient in reading, including defining the 5 year (or longer) plan and the expected operating dollars that would be expended and/or saved. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

6. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to conduct a comparative analysis, using surrounding school districts, of the special education teachers/teacher’s aides to student ratio and the respective average caseloads. The OBRC requests the analysis compare current job descriptions and responsibilities of special education related services and support staff (i.e. paraprofessionals and behavioral specialists), to provide information to assess if HCPSS is utilizing the most effective staffing formula models to provide mandated special education services. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

7. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for utilizing HCPSS employed and trained staff vs. temporary teacher’s aides, including the expected 

expenditures and/or savings incurred to convert staff from temporary to full-time employees and necessary steps and timeline for the conversion. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

8. The OBRC recommends the Board request detailed staff turnover reports for Programs 3320 & 3321 for fiscal years 2018 to 2020 to explain the discrepancies between the budgets and actuals for salaries. The Board requests the report include the number of vacancies on the first day of school, the last day of the first semester, and the last day of school. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

9. The OBRC recommends the Board request a detailed explanation of where excess funds for Programs 3320 & 3321 were reallocated/reinvested in fiscal years 2018 to 2020 (excluding the federal pass-through funding in fiscal year 2020 that distorts the final numbers). (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

10. The OBRC recommends the Board request that the fiscal year 2022 budget reflect the delineation between federal pass-through dollars in Program 3321 – Contracted Labor and traditional funding sources to clarify the massive increase in spending that has not been explained in the fiscal year 2021 budget or fiscal year 2022 budget proposal. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

11. The OBRC recommends the Board review salary increases and discontinue the practice of “me-too” salary adjustments for AMT staff not covered under the bargaining positions to achieve closer alignment with salary maximums in peer counties. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

12. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to provide the Board with a comparison of four similar size peer county models for administration of community service and pass-through programs such as Health Services, Infants & Toddlers, and Mental Health Services to clarify the cost impact on HCPSS. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

13. The OBRC recommends the Board include full funding of $5,357,451 in the Operating Budget for the Funding Commitments for Special Education New Enrollment. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

14. The OBRC recommends the Board ask the Superintendent to prepare a report that includes information from each department and/or division that has Policy 1080 implementation responsibility and budgetary impact. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

15. The OBRC recommends the Board provide full funding from sources including the Operating Budget and other sources of funds for the new Digital Education Center. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

16. The OBRC recommends the Board include full funding in the Operating Budget for Sustaining Technology Infrastructure and Cybersecurity Safeguards. (Recommendation approved 13 to 0 with 2 abstentions) 

17. The OBRC recommends the Board include full funding in the Operating Budget for Enhanced Efforts in Reading Instruction and Dyslexia Training. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

18. The OBRC recommends the Board consider the one-time funding listed in the application for ESSER II in determining what areas may be reasonable to consider reducing in the primary Operating Budget, where one-time expenditures exist, with the intention to leverage the enhanced opportunities in state funding to meet HCPSS goals. (Recommendation approved 9 to 0 with 5 abstentions) 

19. The OBRC recommends the Board not set the management presentation schedule for the OBRC. (Recommendation approved 12 to 1) 

20. The OBRC recommends the Board give the OBRC an opportunity to provide monthly reports at Board meetings during the budget period of January to June to improve communication and feedback between the Board and the OBRC. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

2020 OBRC Presentation before the BOE

Here is the BOE operating budget review committee (OBRC) recommendation on the budget and others. Four recommendations by a majority vote:

The OBRC would like the Board to review the HCPSS plan that will address the cost of deferred maintenance (FY18, 19 & 20 OBRC recommendations).

The OBRC recommends that the Board of Education direct HCPSS to use an independent, third party consultant to identify and analyze options and alternative health fund plans used by other school systems, including school systems in Maryland. These options and alternatives should include potential cost savings that HCPSS may wish to consider

OBRC made a motion to elevate from the OBRC FY20 list of recommendations. ‘Develop a formula to finance BSAP, Hispanic Achievement and International Student Support based on Maintenance of Effort’.

OBRC requests HCPSS provide the following analysis specifying the underlying assumptions (identifying the money sources) and denoting the reference documents that were used for the calculations.

Here is the report in PDF format.

2019 BOE OBRC Final Report

The BOE Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC) presented a year-end final report. They identified four critical areas:

  1. Create a multi‐year Operating Budget that is integrated with a Strategic Plan
  2. Key Performance Indicators for programs
  3. Next Level with Equity, Inclusion and Diversity: Social Determinants of Health
  4. Revenue

I truly appreciate the committee’s year long commitment to provide the school board an independent angle to look at our operating budget.

Here is the document.

06 27 2019 OBRC Final Report BR